When you’re in love, the pretty Starbucks barista, the one who always gawks at you when you enter before work, will say “No, you’re good!” when you hand over your debit card to pay for the white coffee and banana you’re trying to buy. You’ll smile, as though this is nothing new. But inside you’ll wonder how you’ve come this far, wonder who this person is that everyone seems to love now.
See, now that you’re in love, men will hug their girlfriends a little closer as you pass by on the street. Some will look at you with curious eyes, curious, hmm, very curious.
There will be the 25-year-old who sits across from your desk at work, who doesn’t understand her own feelings yet, but makes eyes at you and comments on wine and her empty apartment, with nothing but her cat there and you could come over if you want. You’ll become a master at the passing flirtatious smile. You have to learn to give back to everyone what they dared to give you: a tease at some kind of wonderful.
When you’re in love, you’ll actually look at yourself in the mirror, at home, at the bar, in the bathroom at work, and not cower and tremble, or wince when any sort of your reflection appears in car windows, on laptop screens, in the faces of sunglasses, or in storefronts.
People will tell you “You’ve changed!” as if your loved-up-ness is some kind of badge of honour or trophy from some cold war you’ve finally won with yourself.
When you’re in love, you’ll forget about all the months prior where there were no notes, no come-ons, no looks, no stares, nothing. You’ll forget about the time in school when the “cute” boy in class asked if any of the girls had a mirror and looked straight at you and said, “I know you don’t.” Or the time when you were walking down the street past a group of hungry teenage boys’ eyes who risked their own self-worth by actually calling out to you.
When you’re in love, everyone wants to know your “secret.”
When you’re in love, a girl you’ve spoken to less than twice will text you that she was just thinking about you. Because when you’re in love, people seem to think about you.
When you’re in love, you can actually write stories about love and relationships and have people believe you.
When you’re in love, you won’t believe it. You don’t believe it. You think about all the wishes, and prayers to darkened skies and pubescent bargaining tools you’ve used in the past that went unanswered. But now, you’re in love, and your real life could mimic fantasy. You’ve achieved it. You really did it.